Ford recreates march to Aqaba with truck line-up
Seven Ford trucks and SUVs tackle historic journey that took two months in just ten hours
Ford has recreated one of the most daring and memorable military campaigns in history with its line-up of trucks and SUVs, following the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia across the desert.
A hundred years ago in today’s Jordan, T.E. Lawrence led a gruelling, two-month camel march through a desert many believed to be impassable to capture the Red Sea city of Aqaba.
Even in 1916, Ford vehicles navigated the terrain: archive footage of separate events shows Lawrence driving a Ford Model T -- 40,000 of which were used in the WWI war effort as ambulances, tanks and transporters.
Ford retraced the steps of the march of Aqaba with seven of the strongest SUVs and trucks in its stable: The F-150, Ranger, Edge, Expedition, Explorer, Escape and EcoSport.
The seven-nameplate convoy converged on the Seven Pillars Mountain in the otherworldly Wadi Rum desert, for which Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” work of literature is named.
Jim Benintende, president of Ford Middle East and Africa, said: “What better way to demonstrate the capability and performance of Ford’s trucks and SUVs than recreating the historic march to Aqaba? Jordan is an incredibly picturesque and historic backdrop to showcase our truck and SUV fleet.
“T.E. Lawrence and the Arab army rode two months through the desert to take Aqaba by surprise. We’re doing it in only a few hours, with ten-fold more horsepower.”
Last year, Ford sold more than 1.1 million F-series and Ranger trucks and more than 1.5 million SUVs.
William Dalrymple, an author, historian and expert on T.E. Lawrence who is part of the programme, commented: “The conquest of the Aqaba Fort via the desert was one of the most strategic and creative military victories of our time.
“It was part of a series of events in World War I that created today’s Middle East, and that continues to resonate to this day. Lawrence took great pride in his ability to endure the harshest of conditions for which the Bedouin are famous.
“I was thrilled to join Ford in recreating this incredible event -- and even more so to be experiencing it from the comfort and style of a Ford SUV instead of by camelback.”